A man and woman who were killed when a light plane headed from Palm Springs to El Cajon crashed northeast of Julian were identified Saturday as the plane's registered owner and his girlfriend, authorities said.
Roberta Ann Rose, 52, and Andrew William Thulin, 55, both of San Diego, were en route to Gillespie Filed in the single-engine Mooney M20E when aircraft control reported that the plane had gone missing about 6:15 p.m. Wednesday over the Volcan Mountain Wilderness Preserve, according to sheriff's officials and the San Diego County Medical Examiner's Office.
A sheriff's helicopter was unable to fly over the mountainous area because of sleet, light snow and high winds in the area where the aircraft was last known to be flying. Search-and-rescue personnel were sent to look for the plane using coordinates obtained from a signal off the pilot's cell phone, authorities said.
The wreckage of the aircraft was found on a rugged, steep hillside about a half-mile from a road at the top of Volcan Mountain early Thursday with the bodies of Rose and Thulin in its cockpit, the Medical Examiner's Office and sheriff's officials reported.
Recovery of the bodies was postponed until Thursday afternoon due to the severe weather, authorities said.